When you think of Savannah Georgia you probably think of large oak trees with Spanish moss, southern charm, and history. You might be wondering, “But what is there to see and do”? I’m really excited to share with you 10 unforgettable things you need to do in Savannah Georgia!
The Challenge: Where Should We Go?
This winter I was presented with two big challenges. First, I hate the cold so I’m always looking to travel somewhere warmer during the winter. Second, due to the current pandemic, safe traveling options are very limited. I needed to find somewhere warm, with outside activities, that I could reasonably drive to, and stay in a nice Airbnb. Easy right?! 🙄
Last month I wrote about 15+ Great Ideas for Christmas Traditions. In that post, I shared several of my personal traditions. One of which was that every year our family vacation is my Christmas gift to my children.
This would be an exceptionally special trip because my son, Maverick, was FINALLY able to come home from the Air Force to visit. He’d been in Turkey for 10 months and was not allowed to leave the base.
My daughter, Mackenzie, leaves for the Marines in January. We were pretty sure this would be our last family trip for quite some time. In the post How to See 4 Hawaiian Islands in 7 Days I talked about a trip we wanted to take to Hawaii before she left, but the traveling restrictions didn’t make that possible. This was it! No pressure right?!
10 Unforgettable Things you Need to do in Savannah Georgia
By now you’ve figured out that we decided to go to Savannah Georgia for our Christmas trip this year.
Mainly we picked Savannah because it is warm, and we could drive there from Pennsylvania. We found several awesome outside activities that we could safely do while adhering to the restrictions.
Okay now, get ready for 10 unforgettable things you need to do in Savannah Georgia!
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#1 Wormsloe State Historical Site
The Wormsloe State Historical Site is a really cool place to visit, especially for people who like history and/or nature. The cost to visit this State Park is $10.00 for adults. Children and seniors are at a discounted rate.
The long road leading up to the park is so picturesque. It is lined with the typical live oak trees with Spanish mossy, which is commonly associated with Savannah Georgia. There is a 7-mile nature trail for you to explore at your own pace. While we were on the trail we saw some wildlife like birds and a fox.
With nature trails, wildlife, and educational historical options, there’s plenty to keep you busy here.
Along the trail there are some interesting historical exhibits to see. I was very surprised to find costumed actors at one point on the trail. It reminded me of our trip to the Historic Triangle in Virginia Colonial Williamsburg.
In addition to the museum and actors, they have different events throughout the year so be sure to check the events section on the website to see what they have to offer during your trip.
#2 Bonaventure Cemetery
It might sound odd to visit a cemetery while on vacation, but this one is amazing. Savannah has several cemeteries you can visit, but I think this one is the best. You can drive through the 100+ acres to see the various monuments. People visit Bonaventure Cemetery as a tourist attraction because there are several popular gravesites with interesting stories. There are different guided tours you can take to hear all the details or you can tour it yourself for FREE.
Honestly, the kids thought I was a little weird for wanting to visit a cemetery, but I REALLY enjoyed seeing it because it’s unique. There’s a beautiful section just for veterans and there are just some really cool photo opportunities throughout the cemetery.
The Bonaventure Cemetery guided walking tour is 2.5 hours. The tour guide discusses Victorian-era funerary practices, monument symbolism, and stories of Savannah’s past.
The Bonaventure Cemetery after-hours guided tour is 3 hours long. This one takes place in the evening and has “spooky” stories.
#3 Segway Tour
This is my most favorite out of the 10 unforgettable things you need to do in Savannah Georgia. The kids and I have never driven segways before. I saw the idea on Get your Guide. Guys, I’ve taken a lot of tours in my life, but taking one while riding around on a segway is SOOO much fun!
After a brief lesson, and selection of a super fun helmet, the guide takes you around town to see the sights. You are given an earpiece so you can hear the guide talk about different things. They have either a 60 or 90-minute tour.
The tour guide will tell you about Savannah’s history and you will also see some famous places where movies were filmed.
If you’ve never done this before please try it. I’d definitely do this again! I think it was totally worth the $49.00 for the experience.
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#4 Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge
While we were at the Wormsloe State Historical Site, the kids saw an informational placard that said armadillos are native to Georgia. Somehow that spurred a lot of excitement in wanting to actually see one. Unfortunately, we didn’t see one when we were there. My son, Thomas, did a little research and he found out that the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge had reviews stating that they had armadillos. Honestly, the review titled “Armadillo Heaven” was the main reason why we decided to visit the wildlife refuge. 🤣
The 2,765 acres has various animals and saltwater marshes, as well as hiking, fishing, hunting, and bicycling opportunities. You can drive through and experience some of it from your car. At one point we parked and walked around the marsh. That’s where we saw alligators!
The most exciting part was seeing an armadillo right when we first drove in. Now we can check “armadillo sighting” off of our bucket list. Some of the reviews stated that people didn’t see any animals, and some saw a lot. I think it mostly depends on if you get out of your car or not. This FREE activity takes approximately 2 hours to experience, but it really depends on how much of the area you want to see.
#5 Riverboat and City tour
I’ve mentioned in Top 10 things to See and Do in Nashville, Tennessee that I always like to do the Hop on Hop off Trolley tours. In Savannah Georgia, they had a combination option for the trolley tour AND a riverboat tour for $53.00, so we did that.
This adventure starts with a trolley tour, which is 90 minutes long. There are several stops where you can get on and off if you would like. The tour is filled with information about the history of Savannah as well as some attractions made famous by various movies. For the combo package, after the trolley tour, you get dropped off at River Street. That’s where you take the riverboat cruise tour for another 90 minutes.
There was an option to add the buffet lunch to your cruise but we did not add that option. On the boat, they have some snacks and alcoholic drinks for purchase.
I really enjoyed the riverboat tour, but the kids liked the trolley tour better. I’m glad we decided to do both because they were very different options. It was a fun way to learn more about the history of Savannah Georgia through these two tours. (Make sure you read the post about a ton of different tour ideas for when your traveling.)
#6 Savannah's River Street
River Street is a place you MUST go when you are in Savannah, Georgia. First, the history behind this area is incredible. Secondly, you can walk the strip and shop for really cool souvenirs.
There are several restaurants and pubs to enjoy. One of the cool things about Savannah Georgia is that they allow for open carry of alcoholic beverages. You can buy a drink to go and walk down the street with it. This strip is RIGHT by the water. That means you can be eating your meal and see a huge boat pull up pretty close to you. If you’d like to take a ride on one of the riverboats this is where you can make that happen.
Aside from shopping and food, you will find a number of monuments in this area. This section of town typically has festivals and events running throughout the year. The first Friday of the month they have fireworks!
While we were on River Street we decided to do a FREE honey tasting at Savannah Bee Company. It was a lot of fun. Check it out when you visit River Street!
#7 Cathedral of St. John
The Cathedral of St. John is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Georgia. This church is a very popular tourist destination in Savannah. It ranks #3 out of #175 things to do in Savannah on TripAdvisor.
Although the church was almost destroyed during a tragic fire in 1898, it has been beautifully restored. St. John’s is currently an active church so you need to be aware of the service times in order to plan your visit accordingly.
It is FREE to tour at your own pace, and they do allow pictures to be taken. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 when visiting the church.
I’d highly recommend that you take the time to take a look inside at the stunning architecture. You won’t be disappointed!
#8 Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park is a very popular tourist attraction in Georgia. The fountain in the park is one of the most photographed places in Savannah.
You might be wondering when the best time is to visit. Honestly, it’s usually pretty busy at the park. I think you should see the fountain during the day AND at night!
It is FREE to visit this iconic location. While you are at this 30-acre park you will find tennis and basketball courts, an amphitheater, playgrounds, and large grassy areas for a picnic. This massive park hosts a number of festivals throughout the year so be sure to check the events calendar when you are planning to visit.
#9 Try Southern Food
Savannah Georgia is known for its delicious southern food. There are sooo many places to pick from, but I’ll share with you a few of the places we enjoyed.
Clary's Cafe: 404 Abercorn St. Savannah, GA
Clary’s Cafe is a well-known tourist attraction. (Our trolley tour guide even spoke about it.) With a rating of #35 out of #592 restaurants, we had to try their breakfast. This unassuming restaurant serves good home-cooked food and the service was FAST. Don’t be surprised to see a line here, but the turnaround time is fast so don’t worry. Make sure you try the grits because no trip to the south is complete without some grits!
Mirabelle: 313 Abercorn St. Savannah, GA
Mirabelle’s was hands down, my FAVORITE breakfast place. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I had the best coffee of my life here! (Well… the best in the States anyway.) This place is the cutest ever and the staff is super friendly. You can order online for quick pick-up or get delivery too if you’d like. It’s a pretty small place so seating is limited and you can expect a wait if you didn’t order ahead online, but it’s WORTH IT! The breakfast here is perfect. I got the peach waffles. (Since we were in Georgia I had to get some peaches.)
St. John’s Cathedral is right across the street, so don’t forget to check it out when you’re here. Please make sure you go to Mirabelle’s if you’re in Savannah Georgia. You won’t be disappointed!
Treylor Park Hitch: 300 Drayton St. Savannah, GA
Hitch is a division of the Treylor Park franchise. It is a casual restaurant with a creative eclectic menu. Treylor Park has 3 different restaurants in Savannah. I really liked the unique menu and the trendy atmosphere.
Honestly, they always seemed busy so there was a wait and the service was a little slow, but the food was good. The best part… the drinks here were GREAT! You need to try the Chery Cola cocktail. It was delicious!
Shrimp Factory: 313 E. River St. Savannah, GA
The Shrimp Factory is located on River Street. We enjoyed a delicious lunch on the riverfront. This casual and friendly restaurant is perfect for trying local seafood while the ships go by. We visited in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, so it wasn’t busy at all.
You have to try Savannah’s famous Artillery Punch while we were here. It’s a strong one! (Think… mommy’s little helper.) 😉
The Ordinary Pub: 217 1/2 West Broughton St. Savannah, GA
The Ordinary Pub was a really cool modern pub in the heart of Savannah. It has a modern spin on bar food and everything was DELICIOUS! I loved their fried green tomatoes. We all were super pleased with this restaurant and would definitely go back again.
This casual gem ranks #39 out of #592 restaurants on TripAdvisor. I really liked this pub because the food was made with fresh, local ingredients. It had all the right vibes and truly exceeded our expectations!
Cotton & Rye: 1801 Habersham St. Savannah, GA
We went to Cotton & Rye for a nice dinner on our last night. This was my favorite restaurant in Savannah Georgia! It has that farm to table vibe that I crave. I love the atmosphere and the food was amazing! I picked this because it was located outside of downtown. (The restaurants downtown always had such a long wait and were so packed.)
Everything we ordered was DELICIOUS! They had a great variety of menu options. The service was great and the restaurant is beautifully modern. On TripAdvisor, it ranks #16 out of #592 restaurants in Savannah. I’d definitely eat at Cotton & Rye again!
#10 Savannah Georgia Food Tour
When you travel there are all sorts of educational tours you can take. They are fun, BUT have you ever done a food tour?! I went on a food tour when I was in Paris and it was AWESOME.
Out of the 10 unforgettable things you need to do in Savannah Georgia, this one is probably the most unusual. I’d STRONGLY suggest that you give it a try the next time you travel. Locals know all the best places to go. It’s a perfect way to have the opportunity to talk with other tourists and ask them what they have seen/done so far on their trip. You will get great ideas from the tour guide AND from your fellow travelers in real-time. Below are a few food tour options in Savannah Georgia for you to look into.
Quick Links for Savannah, Georgia
I like to purchase my tickets through Get Your Guide. That way I have everything I need all in one app on my phone and I don’t have to worry about finding my tickets. The site is easy to use, and they provide LOTS of details for the different activities. Below are some quick links to things I’ve mentioned in the post, but please visit Get Your Guide to see the 52 awesome activities they have for Savannah Georgia!
If you liked 10 Unforgettable things you NEED to do in Savannah Georgia you might also like Have you heard of the Historic Triangle in Virginia.
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LET’S CONNECT: Which one of our favorite “10 Unforgettable things you NEED to do in Savannah Georgia” do you think you’d add to your list?